Richard Adams

Photo of Richard Adams
Richard Adams
Professor of Music
(269) 387-4289
(269) 387-1113
1505 Dalton Center, Mail Stop 5434
Mailing address: 
School of Music
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
Teaching interests: 
  • Composition/theory

Richard Adams is a professor of music at Western Michigan University, specializing in composition and theory. He has received recognition for his music through numerous awards and fellowships, including those from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; and the Society of Composers Inc.

Adams has been commissioned by and received performances from many prominent ensembles throughout the country, including the Memphis Symphony, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Albany Symphony, the Louisiana Sinfonietta, Sequitur, and the Dogs of Desire, a multimedia ensemble dedicated to the music of emerging composers.

His compositions draw on both classical and popular musical elements and have been described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "effectively integrating the physicality of rock with the structure of classical music." His works have been recorded on Koch International Classics and Albany Records labels.

Before coming to Western Michigan University, Adams taught composition at the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Michigan. He has had residencies and fellowships at the MacDowell Colony; the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France; the Aspen Music Festival Center for Advanced Composition Studies; and the Charles Ives Center for American Music.

His distinguished teachers have included William Albright, Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Martin Bresnick, Dinos Constantinides, Michael Daugherty and Jacob Druckman.